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Transcript of Reid Sentencing

Posted: 01/30/03 at 7:10 pm    Updated: 01/30/03 at 8:01 pm



2 Criminal No.3 02-10013-WGY


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7 * (Excerpt)


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10 BEFORE: The Honorable William G. Young,

11 District Judge





OWYANG and GARY S. KATZMANN, Assistant United States

16 Attorneys, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, Massachusetts




Esq., Tamar R. Birckhead and Elizabeth L. Prevett,

19 Esq.), 408 Atlantic Avenue, Third Floor, Boston,

Massachusetts 02210, on behalf of the Defendant





1 Courthouse Way

24 Boston, Massachusetts

25 January 30, 2003


1 (Prior proceedings not transcribed at this time.)

2 MR. REID: I start by praising Allah because life

3 today is no good. I bear witness to this and he alone is

4 right to be worshiped. And I bear witness that Muhammad

5 sa'laat alayhi as-salaam is his last prophet and messenger

6 who is sent to all of mankind for guidance, with the sound

7 guidance for everyone.

8 Concerning what the Court said? I admit, I admit

9 my actions and I further, I further state that I done them.

10 THE COURT: I didn't hear the last. I admit my

11 actions and then what did you say?

12 MR. REID: I further admit my allegiance to Osama

13 bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah. Okay?

14 With regards to what you said about killing

15 innocent people, I will say one thing. Your government has

16 killed two million children in Iraq. Okay? If you want to

17 think about something, 20 against two million, I don't see

18 no comparison. Okay?

19 Your government has sponsored the rape and torture

20 of Muslims in the prisons of Egypt and Turkey and Syria and

21 Jordan with their money and with their weapons. Okay? I

22 don't know, see what I done as being equal to rape and to

23 torture, or to the deaths of the two million children in

24 Iraq. Okay?

25 Thirdly. So, for this reason, I think I ought not


1 apologize for my actions. I am at war with your country.

2 I'm at war with them not for personal reasons but because

3 they have murdered more than, so many children and they

4 have oppressed my religion and they have oppressed people

5 for no reason except that they say we believe in Allah.

6 This is the only reason that America sponsors

7 Egypt. It's the only reason they sponsor Turkey. It's the

8 only reason they back Israel. Okay?

9 As far as the sentence is concerned, it's in your

10 hand. Only really it is not even in your hand. It's in

11 Allah's hand. I put my trust in Allah totally and I know

12 that he will give victory to his religion. And he will

13 give victory to those who believe and he will destroy those

14 who wish to oppress the people because they believe in

15 Allah.

16 So you can judge and I leave you to judge. And I

17 don't mind. This is all I have to say. And I bear witness

18 to Muhammad this is Allah's message.

19 THE COURT: Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to

20 the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

21 On Counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to

22 life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney

23 General. On Counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you

24 to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each

25 count to run consecutive one with the other. That's 80


1 years.

2 On Count 8 the Court sentences you to the

3 mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just

4 imposed.

5 The Court imposes upon you on each of the eight

6 counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2

7 million.

8 The Court accepts the government's recommendation

9 with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the

10 amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American

11 Airlines.

12 The Court imposes upon you the $800 special

13 assessment.

14 The Court imposes upon you five years supervised

15 release simply because the law requires it. But the life

16 sentences are real life sentences so I need not go any

17 further.

18 This is the sentence that is provided for by our

19 statutes. It is a fair and a just sentence. It is a

20 righteous sentence. Let me explain this to you.

21 We are not afraid of any of your terrorist

22 co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been

23 through the fire before. There is all too much war talk

24 here. And I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.

25 Here in this court where we deal with individuals


1 as individuals, and care for individuals as individuals, as

2 human beings we reach out for justice.

3 You are not an enemy combatant. You are a

4 terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a

5 terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a

6 soldier gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the

7 officers of government who do it or your attorney who does

8 it, or that happens to be your view, you are a terrorist.

9 And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not treat

10 with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists.

11 We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

12 So war talk is way out of line in this court.

13 You're a big fellow. But you're not that big. You're no

14 warrior. I know warriors. You are a terrorist. A species

15 of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders.

16 In a very real sense Trooper Santiago had it right

17 when first you were taken off that plane and into custody

18 and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews

19 were and you said you're no big deal. You're no big deal.

20 What your counsel, what your able counsel and what

21 the equally able United States Attorneys have grappled with

22 and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple

23 with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it

24 that led you here to this courtroom today. I have listened

25 respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to


1 search your heart and ask yourself what sort of

2 unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and

3 admit you are guilty of doing.

4 And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy

5 you. But as I search this entire record it comes as close

6 to understanding as I know.

7 It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us

8 is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual

9 freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to

10 come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we

11 individually choose.

12 Here, in this society, the very winds carry

13 freedom. They carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea.

14 It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you

15 are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can

16 see, truly see that justice is administered fairly,

17 individually, and discretely.

18 It is for freedom's seek that your lawyers are

19 striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed

20 appeals, will go on in their, their representation of you

21 before other judges. We care about it. Because we all

22 know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of

23 our own liberties.

24 Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we

25 will bear any burden, pay any price, to preserve our


1 freedoms.

2 Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The

3 world is not going to long remember what you or I say here.

4 Day after tomorrow it will be forgotten. But this,

5 however, will long endure. Here, in this courtroom, and

6 courtrooms all across America, the American people will

7 gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice,

8 not war, individual justice is in fact being done.

9 The very President of the United States through

10 his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out

11 evidence on which specific matters can be judged, and

12 juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that

13 evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our

14 sense of justice.

15 See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the

16 United States of America. That flag will fly there long

17 after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for

18 freedom. You know it always will.

19 Custody, Mr. Officer. Stand him down.

20 MR. REID: That flag will be brought down on the

21 day of judgment and you will see in front of your Lord and

22 my Lord and then we will know.

23 (Whereupon the defendant was removed from the

24 courtroom.)

25 THE COURT: We'll recess. All rise.


1 (Whereupon the matter concluded.)



4 C E R T I F I C A T E


6 I, Donald E. Womack, do hereby certify that the

7 above portions of proceedings were reported by me

8 stenographically and this transcript represents a true and

9 accurate transcription of said proceedings.







15 Official Court Reporter